Queen’s Gallantry Medal; (WO2 IG), Campaign Service Medal clasp: Northern Ireland; (LCPL IG), Iraq Medal 2003-2011, Clasp: 19 Mar To 26 Apr 2003; ( WO2, IG); Jubilee Medal 2002.
Mounted court style as worn.
Warrant Officer 2nd Class later Captain .J. Campbell, Irish Guards,
The recommendation for Campbell’s award of the Queen’s Gallantry Medal reads as follows: ‘Shortly after deployment out of the [Basra] Palace to cover the extraction route for the convoy on 15 June 2007, one of the Company’s Warrior vehicle toppled off a narrow bridge into a stream in a high threat area. The Warrior came to rest upside down with its crew and dismounts trapped inside and under water. WO2 Campbell who was travelling in a following vehicle immediately dismounted and ran forward to the scene. Displaying extraordinary presence of mind he slid down the steep bank to the Warrior and opened the door using the external door release button. He used all his natural authority and force of character to shake the dismounts in the crew compartment out of their panic and forced them out of the vehicle. Acting calmly and with great ingenuity and resourcefulness WO2 Campbell single-handedly managed to find a way to extricate the turret crew that has not occurred to the experienced Warrior crewmen present and got them out. His rapid and decisive action probably saved the lives of four dismounts and unquestionably two turret crew. Without hesitating and deliberately placing himself into a highly dangerous situation in a dark and flooded vehicle in order to save his men’s lives. His actions were decisive, resourceful and six men owe their lives to his quick thinking and selfless courage.’
(Sadly the driver of the Warrior, Lance-Corporal J. A. Cartwright, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, was tragically killed.)
Campbell was commissioned into the Irish Guards in July 2009, but resigned his commission a year later.
Only 24 Queen’s Gallantry Medal’s, including two second award bars were awarded for Iraq, four being to men of the Irish Guards.
Brendan James Campbell was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, and educated at Billinge High School, before joining the British Army as a Guardsman into the Irish Guards. As a Lance Corporal he saw service in Northern Ireland, and as a Warrant Officer 2nd Class saw service in Iraq during the opening stages of the conflict as a part of Operation Telic 1 in 2003 when his regiment played a significant role as a part of the 7th Armoured Division during the advance into Basra.
Campbell’s award of the Queen’s Gallantry Medal was published in the London Gazette for 7th March 2008 ‘In recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Iraq during the period 1st April to 30th September 2007.’ In total only 24 Queen’s Gallantry Medal’s, including two second award bars were awarded for Iraq, four being to men of the Irish Guards.
Campbell was presented with his award at Buckingham Palace by Prince Charles, and images of the presentation and aftermath survive. Campbell however maintained he was “only doing his job”.
Campbell was commissioned as a Captain into the Irish Guards in July 2009, but resigned his commission in August the following year and was employed in a private roll at GHQ United Arab Emirates.
A particularly fine Irish Guards group
PROV. DNW 9/2019 (£14,880)